by Ryan Taylor
The delivery of services over the internet, cloud technology offers scalability and flexibility. Implementing cloud technologies could drive innovation in the travel industry.
It’s no secret that portions of the travel industry are plagued with outdated legacy systems and platforms, as well as systems that don’t play well with each other. Many companies know they need an upgrade but struggle with the decision of how best to enhance or replace their systems in a way that improves the customer experience, as well as increasing employee efficiency, decreasing costs, and providing longevity.
A recent PhocusWire article links fragmented travel systems, which sometimes date back as far as the 1970s, with an overall lack of innovation in the travel industry. While industries such as fintech, biotech, and autotech have risen to today’s technology challenges, travel has lagged behind.
The issue is not just a technology one: it is a customer experience problem, as well as an efficiency problem. Fragmented systems don’t create the seamless experience that customers want and have become accustomed to. Likewise, employees are increasingly frustrated by legacy systems that waste valuable time and money.
The Cloud Technology Advantage
Many companies are exploring cloud-based services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, software packages that are hosted in the cloud, and other options.
Amazon, a company that has long been rumored to be a potential entrant to the travel market, appears to be focusing its efforts in the cloud, reports PhocusWire – providing services to travel companies rather than to the traveler themselves. So far, a number of companies have chosen a cloud-first strategy rather than investing in legacy on-premises systems.
Some newer companies had the luxury of launching their businesses from the cloud from the get-go, such as Airbnb. In doing so, they were able to scale quickly and nimbly, taking advantage of the flexibility inherent in cloud-based technologies.
For established companies, especially those operating in the complex travel environment, the introduction of cloud-based technologies needs to be approached strategically.
This can mean migrating away from legacy systems to modern technologies that are cloud-based; reimagining and refining existing technologies and rebuilding them on the cloud; partnering with cloud-first organizations to take advantage of certain technologies that will most benefit the business – or a combination of all these approaches.
Businesses who have started to introduce cloud technology, according to Skift, include hotelier Barceló, which now runs some financial and CRM systems from AWS. These include G6 Hospitality, which runs several operations from AWS, as well as other companies like Sabre, Hotelogix, and Duetto who are using AWS for at least a portion of their services.
In many of these cases, they are running platforms which offer many key advantages. Learn about The Power Of Platforms and why you should partner with one.
Driving Payments Innovation With A Cloud-First Approach
Payments is an important example of how partnering with a provider who is taking a cloud-first approach to technology can benefit your business and create value beyond the payment.
A cloud-first organization and building on the AWS cloud, WEX brings together the industry’s most trusted, flexible payment platform and a cloud-native payments processor to allow travel businesses to achieve maximum supplier payment flexibility.
As part of our continuous innovation strategy, we are developing cloud-based payments solutions with an agile approach to provide flexibility, speed and efficiency in serving our travel customers.
Paired with our unique level of travel industry expertise, our technology ensures we can take away the complexity of paying suppliers for travel companies across the globe.
As well as easy integration with existing platforms across the travel ecosystem via API, a cloud-first approach in building and hosting our technology in the cloud allows us to ensure continuous delivery and integration. This avoids downtime that can have a considerable impact on travel businesses.
The use of cloud technology can be a game changer in any industry. The travel industry, in particular, is ripe for the picking. With outdated systems and the need for innovative solutions, there is a long way to go, but travel companies are increasingly making a move to introduce cloud technologies both internally and by working with cloud-first technology providers like WEX.